Ending a Relationship During the Holiday Season

Photo by Kelly Sikkema 

Most people who are experiencing a relationship that’s on the rocks try to “weather the storm” during the holiday season, hoping to avoid making a usually joyous season one of trauma, drama, or both. However, there are occasions in which relationships are ended during the holiday season for any number of reasons. Sometimes ending a relationship during the holidays is avoidable, and other times it’s not; it all depends on your specific situation.

In any case, there are usually a couple of questions that come to mind when contemplating a potential breakup over the holidays:

  1. Is there a proper way to end a relationship during the holiday season?
  2. Should you break up with someone during the holiday?

We’ll begin by answering the second question: there’s no right answer, it’s entirely dependent on your circumstances. Do you and your partner have children? Are you cohabitating? Just how toxic is your situation? The answers to these questions can help you determine the “should”and “when” of this holiday conundrum.

Now, let’s move on to the “how” by answering the first question.

The Breakup

If you feel that you must end your relationship during the holiday season and your situation isn’t toxic, then there are a few tips that may help soften the blow of the breakup for your soon-to-be ex.

  • Don’t break up through a phone call, text, email, social media, etc.
  • Give your soon-to-be ex a heads up that the state of the relationship is the topic you want to address.
  • Prepare your talking points and encourage them to do the same.
  • Don’t give your soon-to-be ex hope that there’s something they can do to make the relationship work if you know there’s nothing they could possibly do.
  • Avoid breaking up the week of the actual holiday if at all possible.
  • It’s disingenuous to use the line, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Don’t say it. Instead, be honest.
  • Don’t use the breakup as an opportunity to blame them for it. Hopefully, you’ve been communicating all of your concerns throughout the course of the relationship and you have given your soon-to-be ex plenty of time to turn things around.
  • Don’t immediately continue hanging out with their family members or mutual friends if it’s going to be that much harder on the person you’re breaking up with. Depending on how your conversation goes, this may be something you’ll want to bring up in your talking points.
  • Give them closure and consider allowing your ex to call or message you a few more times after the breakup. Do not end things abruptly unless you are in a very toxic situation and it would be the safest thing for you to do.

Things to Remember

No matter how much you dislike the person or their response to the breakup, do your best to end things on a positive note. If they have some choice words for you, allow them to express themselves and get their frustration out. Remember, they’re only human and deserve compassion, too. Besides, you’re breaking up with them over the holidays, leaving them with no control over the state of the relationship. You hold the power.

Please visit for additional resources.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *